1 big thing: U.S. women consume more media than men
A new study provided exclusively to Axios from media measurement firm Nielsen finds that women in the U.S. spend more time with media than men, particularly on their smartphones and on live TV. In total, women spend about 72.8 hours a week consuming media, while men spend around 67.8 hours per week.
The big picture: Across all media options, TV is the favorite medium for women, accounting for 36% of their media consumption, per the study.
- Women have out-consumed men in total TV consumption (live, time-shifted, etc.) for the past four years, per Nielsen.
- In total, adult women in the U.S. spend nearly four hours per day with live TV.
Why it matters: Women in the U.S. control the bulk of consumer spending, and are often responsible for the majority of purchasing decisions in U.S. households.
- While TV ad spend is expected to decline by about 3% this year, it still represents a huge opportunity for advertisers to reach people, and particularly females with heavy purchasing power.
By the numbers, per Nielsen:
- 93% of women in North America have shared or primary responsibility for daily shopping, household chores and food preparation.
- 53% of women in the U.S. say they’re the head of the household, up from a 50-50 split in 2009. Women also outnumber men in the U.S. by 6 million.
Yes, but: Despite these realities, gender bias in marketing still persists.
- Research from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University and the research and innovation group at J. Walter Thompson, one of the world's biggest advertising companies, found that the advertising industry struggled to proportionately represent women.
- In 2017, it found that of 2,000 video ads analyzed, there were twice as many male characters in ads than female characters. While 25% of ads featured men only, only 5% of ads feature women only. Men's voices were also 6x more likely to be featured in ads than women's voices.
Be smart: According to Nielsen, women in the U.S. are more likely than men to consider TV advertising "as a source of meaningful and useful product and service information." This means that advertisers are more likely to strike a chord with receptive female audiences off the bat.
The bottom line: There's ample opportunity for marketers to reach receptive female audiences if they focus on closing the gender gap in advertising.
The data is based on Nielsen’s nationally representative panel for persons 18+ that compiles information from over 40,000 homes, representing more than 100,000 people, including the May 2019 measurement period for TV, digital and radio.